Nostalgic sewing

A small stack of summery fabric arrived in the mail last week.  The happy prints practically begged to be turned into sundresses for Miss P.  I sorted through my patterns, and decided to use a McCalls dress I had made for Miss E when she was just a little thing.  Miss P is a big girl and it can be hard to decide what size to make for her.  I didn’t want chance making the wrong size, so I dug through the storage shed until I came upon the tub of Miss E’s baby clothes.

These are the dresses I made for Miss E.  In fact, the little orange one is the very first dress I ever made.

McCalls M5830Pulling those baby dresses from that tub of baby clothes brought back so many good memories of sewing for my girl.  I tackled that first dress with more determination than skill.  After many hours, lots of seam ripping, and one burst of frustrated tears… I had made a dress.  The very next week I made the red and turquoise dress with a few less ripped seams, and amazingly, not a tear was shed.

Miss E's sundressI will admit I was so proud of that dress and I loved seeing her run around in it.

Beginer sewingThose two sundresses were riddled with mistakes!  Sloppy armholes, wobbly seams, misshapen neckline… but oh how I loved them!  I was even too scared to make real buttonholes so I used snaps instead.  On the orange dress I even managed to sew the neckline on backwards!

Wobbly pocketsSo, 3-1/2 years later I made another for Miss P.   The pattern I used is McCalls M5830.

McCalls M5830Man I love this pattern but it does not love me back.  That’s a little dramatic.  It’s really a breezy little pattern, except for the part were you attach the neckline to the bodice.  The instructions seem to be describing this terribly clever way of sewing the neckline on wrong -side-out.  Then when you turn it, everything is magically and suddenly right-side-out, with no exposed seams.  I could never figure it out.  Even my husband, who is my go-to pattern interpreter, couldn’t decode it for me.  He suggested making a practice dress but ain’t nobody got time for that.  So I ended up attaching the neckline in my own clumsy way… but it got the job done.

Strawberry pocketsIsn’t that strawberry fabric delightful?  I love the little kick-pleat in the front too.

I hand-stitched her pet name to the bottom of the dress.

Hand-stiched nameWhile I was at it I decide to make another.

McCalls M5830And look… real buttonholes!  I know… I’m a big girl… yes I am.

Buttonholes Can we just talk for a minute about how much I love this print?  I love it a lot.  All those happy little houses and funky little birds, how could I resist?!

Village Green fabric by Carolyn GavinThis one is going to look so sweet with her little red shoes.

McCalls M5830Oh, one more thing I should mention; the sizes on this pattern are a bit vague.  The sizes are listed as newborn, small, medium, and large, with no measurements to go with them.  After sewing this pattern in several sizes, I would say the pattern comes in sizes newborn- 18 months.  I made Miss P the 18 month because I want it to fit her this summer.

Summer dressesIt was fun to see how my sewing skills had improved over the last 3 years.  Fun to add a few more homemade dresses to the stack, and I’m looking forward to seeing Miss P toddle around in her summer dresses.

13 thoughts on “Nostalgic sewing

  1. Audrey R

    Wow, in a few years you went from sewing your first dress to being a regular seamstress! I can see the that your sewing has improved, but your first ones are still great! I am still a little afraid of buttonholes. They never turn out quite like I want them to. I generally use zippers because that’s how I learned, but when my babies were little, I often used snaps.

    I always love to see what sewing you’ve been up to!

    1. April Post author

      Thanks Audrey! I have a love/hate relationship with buttonholes. When they turn out they are brilliant but when they go bad they can ruin a garment.

    1. April Post author

      Little girl’s dresses are very fun to make! I do wish it were as easy to make sundresses for me as it is to make them for my girls!

  2. Clarita

    These are absolutely darling! Even your first attempts look perfect to me ~ I’m sure no one but yourself would notice the imperfections. :) The print on the skirt part of the dress – I was just looking at that very same one on etsy this morning. DARLING! Like Amber said, these are magazine worthy. Let me predict it ~ someone will find you one day and you’ll have your own magazine feature column & tutorials. :)

    1. April Post author

      Clarita you are too sweet! I’m not sure these dresses are “magazine chic” but they are fun. I am loving all of you onesie creations!!

  3. Michaelrah

    I have my grandmother’s Singer treadle machine. My first sewing was on that machine and I sewed my finger! I have all of the accessories for the machine, also. I will be keeping it as is and pass it to one of my children.


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